Soccer-Interim boss Jones wants Newcastle to build on Palace draw

FILE PHOTO: Soccer - England - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Newcastle United - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - October 23, 2021 Newcastle United caretaker Graeme Jones shakes hands with Emil Krafth after the match Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) - Newcastle United interim manager Graeme Jones said his team were nowhere near their best in Saturday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Crystal Palace but encouraged them to use the result as a platform to improve their league position.

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson's acrobatic strike cancelled out Christian Benteke's opener as the visitors sealed a point in their first game since the exit of manager Steve Bruce following the takeover of the club by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.

The club are still seeking their first league victory this season and remain second-bottom on four points from nine games but Jones said he was happy with their solid display.

"I'm pleased we got something out of it. We deserved that for our organisation, understanding and mentality," Jones told Sky Sports.

"It's far from where I want to be, on the ball in particular. On the turnover, our first pass could be better at times, but it was a solid place to start from. We'll look to build and improve for as long as I'm doing this.

"Overall, I'm really pleased. It was a solid performance, particularly off the ball. On the ball, we need to be better, but that won't happen overnight. I'm delighted with a draw because it gives us somewhere to start from."

Jones, who was previously Bruce's assistant, will also be in charge of Newcastle's next league match against Chelsea as the club search for a new manager.

Sky Sports reported that former AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca, who was on the radar of Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year, was among a number of contenders for the job.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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